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Boxwood blight, which produces dark-brown leaf spots and causes rapid defoliation that can kills young boxwoods, was found in three separate locations in Michigan.

The post Boxwood Blight Detected in Michigan appeared first on Greenhouse Grower.

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 9:00 am

May traditionally kicked off with the Indoor Ag-Con. For the sixth time, the industry united in Las Vegas to discuss expansio

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:17 am

We do not want to gossip nor speak bad about people, but to be honest the greenhouse at Maatschap B. Otten in IJsselmuiden, N

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:08 am

It has been there for a while, restaurant the Green House in the center of Utrecht (Netherlands). On April 9, the restaurant

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:08 am

The European Commission wants to have minimum requirements for treated (waste) water. MEP Jan Huitema (VVD) therefore visited

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:08 am

If everything goes according to plan, Brian Bain will convert his Saskatoon market garden to a marijuana nursery by next year

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:08 am

Bee Vectoring Technologies is accelerating efforts to bring its patented plant protection delivery system to commercial growe

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:08 am

Adam Henson of BBC Countryfile was granted rare access to the biggest single glass house in the UK where a controversial crop

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:08 am

James E. Wagner Cultivation Corporation has received a main building permit from the City of Kitchener – Building Division fo

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:08 am

It is always certain that strawberry prices will skyrocket around

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:08 am

The most recent expansion of 4Evergreen Terneuzen in Westdorpe, Netherlands, was finished at the end of November. The complet

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:06 am

On December 5th, in an oral hearing on a patent covering pepper plants, the European Patent Office (EPO) declared Rule 28(2)

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:06 am

After living in Korea for 12 years, Brian Carlstrom is happy to spend time in his backyard.

While standing in his gre

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:06 am

A new greenhouse market scan focuses on the current situation in the modern greenhouse sector, including support measures of

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:06 am

Among the many up-and-comers, jostling for a spot in China’s massive e-commerce industry, there are a few that pick a niche m

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:06 am

Biobest Group NV of Belgium, IVOG Gmbh of Germany, BKS A.S. and Antilsan A.S. of Turkey, jointly announced a transaction, whi

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:06 am

"The mistake in our industry is that many people tribute the soul success of indoor farming to LED. LED makes ind

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:06 am

The company that came up with Walmart's pickup towers has now developed a self-driving car that could really result in a dram

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:06 am

The symbolic first brick in the third and fourth series of the greenhouse complex Solnechniy Dar has been laid in Izobilnensk

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:06 am

Tariffs are at the heart of a trade war between the U.S. and China. Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural commodities have t

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:06 am

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:06 am

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:06 am

Vitacress, one of the UK’s largest growers and suppliers of fresh herbs and salads to supermarkets has appointed two new memb

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:06 am

On the 10th of December, the Italian areas of Polignano, Monopoli and Fasano

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:06 am

Microgreens are proving to be increasingly popular in upmarket Australian eateries, which is how growing micro was what got A

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:06 am

Researchers from Wageningen University & Research are harvesting the first Dutch bananas this week. Boerenhart, a supplie

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:06 am

The need for year-round cultivation of tomatoes and cucumbers is growing rapidly in Georgia. Grow light is an essential facto

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:06 am

Commonwealth Charter Academy (CCA), a Pennsylvania public cyber charter school, officially unveiled AgWorks at CCA, which acc

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:06 am

Village Farms International, following the passage by U.S. Congress of the 2018 Farm Bill, will aggressively pursue opportuni

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:06 am

The exhibition halls of Rimini Fiera will be renewed on the occasion of the 36th edition of Macfrut, which will take place fr

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:06 am

Spain's minimum wage will jump by 22% in 2019 - the largest annual increase in more than 40 years.

It means millions

Posted on 13 December 2018 | 5:06 am

71-acre glass structure is Phase I of the company’s overall mission to satisfy customer demand.

The post Mastronardi Produce Sets Record With Latest Greenhouse Expansion in New York appeared first on Greenhouse Grower.

Posted on 12 December 2018 | 10:49 am

Affiliate of biocontrol-based company acquires majority share of international manufacturer and distributor of integrated pest management tools.

The post Deal Helps Biobest Secure Stake in Sticky Traps for Plant Pests appeared first on Greenhouse Grower.

Posted on 12 December 2018 | 5:38 am

Check out the first of several slideshows presented by Greenhouse Grower highlighting Coral varieties suggested by leading plant companies.

The post Plant Breeders and Brokers Present Their Top Coral Color-Themed Varieties appeared first on Greenhouse Grower.

Posted on 11 December 2018 | 8:10 am

With several top industry players in attendance, the high-level discussions at the 2018 GROW Summit ranged over many topics, but some common themes seemed to stand out — labor and the need for growers to raise their prices.

The post Greenhouse Grower’s GROW Summit 2018 Tackles Hard Industry Issues Head On appeared first on Greenhouse Grower.

Posted on 11 December 2018 | 7:56 am

Safety should be one of the most important priorities for any commercial greenhouse operation, and poor planning can result in lost efficiency and much more.

The post 24 Ways to Make Your Greenhouse Safer for You and Your Employees appeared first on Greenhouse Grower.

Posted on 11 December 2018 | 7:41 am

The Research and Educational facility of Bayer Environmental Science, a Business Unit of Bayer Crop Science, was selected for the 2018 Best of Clayton Award.

The post Bayer Greenhouse Research Facility Honored for Service appeared first on Greenhouse Grower.

Posted on 10 December 2018 | 12:19 pm

LumiGrow Inc. has launched its newest TopLight wirelessly controllable LED lighting system for commercial greenhouse and indoor crop production.

The post LumiGrow Introduces TopLight LED Lighting System appeared first on Greenhouse Grower.

Posted on 9 December 2018 | 11:22 am

Heating, cooling, and ventilation manufacturers have introduced a variety of products aimed at helping you maximize air movement and avoid costly plant losses.

The post New Options for Managing Temperature and Humidity in Your Greenhouse appeared first on Greenhouse Grower.

Posted on 8 December 2018 | 9:13 am

The Society of American Florists says the U.S. has agreed to temporarily delay the escalation of certain tariffs on floriculture hard goods produced in China from 10% to 25%. The increase was scheduled to take effect in January.

The post Tariff Hike on Floriculture Hard Goods From China Delayed appeared first on Greenhouse Grower.

Posted on 7 December 2018 | 7:09 am

The University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center is gearing up for it’s Hydroponic Intensive Workshops that will occur in January 2019.

The CEAC’s unique facilities support a quality of learning experience, where knowledge from classroom lectures is immediately applied in the greenhouse. The length and thoroughness of CEAC intensive workshop is unmatched! You’ll be ripe with knowledge and bleeding green by the time you leave. CEAC Intensive Workshops have been around for 10 years. With a database of 100’s of common questions and strategic delivery of content, we will address many of your questions naturally throughout the workshop. In addition, the limited class size offers the opportunity to address questions more specific to your operation.

The lettuce workshop will be taught by Myles D. Lewis. The Tomato Workshop will be taught by Dr. Stacy Tollefson.

Registration is now open for both. Click here for more info.

PDF: Jan 2019 Intensive Flyer

Discount available for Veterans & Combined Workshop Attendees.

Posted on 21 November 2018 | 10:03 am

Milan Kluko, the Founder of Green Spirit Farms and Harvest Moon Farms, spoke at the Indoor Ag Science Café this month. Green Spirit Farms is one of the oldest indoor farms in the U.S. located in New Buffalo MI with several additional operations in Chicago, Detroit, and Puerto Rico. In his presentation ‘Our Stories – Green Spirit Farms to Harvest Moon Farms’, Milan shares his vision, history, operation data (crops, yield and costs), technological advancement, international outreach projects, and more!  This is a powerful testimonial of successful indoor farming.
Indoor Ag Science Café is a monthly online forum organized by three scientists (Chieri Kubota, Ohio State U; Erik Runkle, Michigan State U; and Cary Mitchell, Purdue U).

Posted on 20 November 2018 | 11:52 am

The Indiana Horticultural Congress is an educational meeting designed to meet the needs of fruit, vegetable, wine, organics, and specialty crop growers and marketers in Indiana and surrounding states.

Sessions will focus on climate, insect management and pollinators, biostimulants and much more.

Speakers include Dr. Annette Wszelaki from Tennessee, Dr. Lori Hoagland from Purdue and Dr. Matt Ruark from Univ. of Wisconsin, and Purdue’s own team of experts.

If you are interested, please visit

Posted on 20 November 2018 | 10:52 am

Tom Zoellner and Penny McBride, two out of the three members of the Board of Directors for the Association for Vertical Farming (AVF), have resigned with immediate effect. This leaves Christine Zimmermann-Loessl the single remaining member of the Board of Directors.

The decision to step down has not been taken lightly and is based on irreconcilable differences within the AVF Board regarding financial management, accountability and managing conflicts of interest. After a long and intense period of internal discussion and concerted attempts to resolve the differences in a constructive manner, no meaningful progress has been achieved. As a consequence, Zoellner and McBride cannot fulfil their duties and responsibilities as members of the Board of Directors anymore.

“It is unfortunate, in an organization like the AVF that could be the choice for the growing indoor farming industry, that conflicts of interests and inadequate transparency risks important partnership with the business community and public funding agencies”, Zoellner says. In 2017, the newly elected Board of Directors was tasked to professionalize the organization. Among other steps, Zoellner and McBride attempted to implement an improved financial reporting and control system, to obtain basic insight into the association’s financials and to resolve concerns over allocation of membership fees. Despite their efforts and being in the majority, no agreement could be reached by the Board. Zoellner reports, “Regrettably, it has not been possible to implement simple yet important improvements required to professionalize the association. We would like to apologize to all AVF members for this, as this was the agenda that members had been defined for the Board to execute.”

Concerns about the way of working within the AVF have not gone unnoticed. The organization has suffered from a steady erosion of membership over the past years and many more AVF members have terminated their membership recently. McBride adds: “We have done everything we could think of, but could not achieve the progress that is needed within the current organizational structure. Sadly, making it impossible for us to do our jobs according to the statutes.”
Zoellner and McBride see that the indoor farming industry has moved on already and are now considering different venues to serve the industry going forward. They look forward to engage in the continuing value proposition with constructive and transparent ways of working.

Posted on 20 November 2018 | 8:00 am

As a result of his postdoctoral research tenure at NASA Kennedy Space Center, Mickens has published two manuscripts on the effect of light quality on ‘Outredgeous’ red romaine lettuce and “Rubi F1’ red pak choi, a Chinese cabbage. It was found that various combination of colors, or “light recipes” could be used to manipulate plant morphology (shape), yield, and nutrient content of any crop species. It was also discovered that not all plants respond the same to the same recipe, but that each crop has an ideal lighting regime that can be identified, but it all depends on the needs of the grower. Some recipes are more effective only during certain points of the cycle, and some are more beneficial when provided over the entire cycle. We are only at the beginning of discovering the numerous strategies in which light can be used to optimize plant growth.


To optimize crop production/quality in space, we studied various “light recipes” that could be used in the Advanced Plant Habitat currently aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Lettuce (Lactuca sativa cv. ‘Outredgeous’) plants were grown for 28 days under seven treatments of white (W) LEDs (control), red (635 nm) and blue (460 nm) (RB) LEDs, W + blue (B) LEDs, W + green (520 nm) (G) LEDs, W + red (R) LEDs, W + far red (745 nm) (FR) LEDs, and RGB + FR LEDs with ratios similar to natural sunlight. Total PAR was maintained near 180 μmol m−2 s−1 with an 18 h photoperiod. Lettuce grown under RGB + FR produced the greatest leaf expansion and overall shoot biomass, while leaves from WB and RB showed the highest levels of pigmentation, secondary metabolites, and elemental nutrients. All other supplemental treatments had varying impacts on morphology that were dependent on crop age. The WG treatment increased fresh mass early in the cycle, while WR increased biomass later in the cycle. The plants grown under WFR exhibited elongation of petioles, lower nutrient content, and similar shoot biomass to the W control. The findings suggest that supplementing a broad spectrum, white light background with discrete wavelengths can be used to manipulate total yield, morphology, and levels of phytonutrients in lettuce at various times during the crop cycle.

Click here to download the full article on Red Romaine Light Recipes


About Matthew Mickens:

Mickens obtained his Ph.D. in Energy and Environmental Systems from NC A&T State University. His doctoral studies were funded by the NASA Harriett G. Jenkins Predoctoral Fellowship which allowed him to fabricate photoluminescent compounds known as phosphors, which are a major component in white light-emitting diodes (WLEDs). By studying ways to tune and manipulate light spectrum for general lighting, he was placed on a path to discover ways to manipulate light spectrum for plants. After an internship at NASA Kennedy Space Center where he was introduced to plant growth research, he was awarded a fellowship in the NASA Postdoctoral Program to investigate lighting strategies that astronauts could use for food production in space. He is now applying the skills obtained at NASA to manage the installation of an automated indoor vertical farm just outside the greater New York City area to ensure safe, reliable, and controlled crop production here on Earth.

Posted on 15 November 2018 | 8:22 am

The second ‘Indoor Ag Science Café’ of this month had Dr. Cary Mitchell, as a speaker. Funded by NASA and USDA SCRI, Cary has a long research history focusing on energy savings while maximizing crop productivities through his in-depth understanding of plant physiology under controlled environment.  In his presentation ‘Lighting Strategies for Energy Savings’ introduced his innovative approach to optimize the lighting environment. Indoor Ag Science Café is a monthly online forum organized by three scientists (Chieri Kubota, Ohio State U; Erik Runkle, Michigan State U; and Cary Mitchell, Purdue U). Please contact to join the café.

Posted on 2 November 2018 | 12:04 pm

New DLI maps have been created from an updated database that includes data from 1998 to 2009.

Daily light integral (DLI) is the amount of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) received each day as a function of light intensity and duration. DLI maps display the ambient light delivered daily during each month across the entire United States. The original maps released in 2002 were researched and developed by Jim Faust at Clemson University and Joanne Logan at the University of Tennessee.

These researchers developed a series of monthly DLI maps to provide a tool for horticulturists to estimate the potential growth and flowering responses for various plants throughout the year. At least 40 research articles studying plant responses to DLI have been published since the original DLI maps were released. Most of this research focused on greenhouse ornamental production.

The original DLI maps were based on solar radiation data from 239 sites recorded from 1961 to 1990. New maps were created from an updated database that included data from 1998 to 2009. This updated information provides higher resolution data modeled from satellite images of cloud cover. The new maps provide more geographically precise data reflecting recent weather patterns.

Posted on 31 October 2018 | 8:00 am

Fritz Meier from Gebrüder Meier Gemüsekulturen AG in Dällikon, Switzerland, runs a a horticultural company together with his brother and sister. It’s about 100 hectares of open fields and 10 hectares of greenhouses. They grow cucumber, tomato and eggplant in the warm greenhouse, and in the cold greenhouse there is corn lettuce, radish and for the past year, hydroponic lettuce on mobile systems. They have been working with Codema for the irrigation technology for nine years. When they decided to install a mobile gutter system, they asked Codema for help again. The returns of their new mobile gutter system exceeded their expectations.

Pleasant work attitude

Fritz Meier explains briefly how the mobile gutters system works: ‘First we pot the plants on tables, after which they are transported all the way to the back of the greenhouse. There, we transplant them to the gutters, which then automatically slide through the greenhouse so we can harvest at the front again. Because all gutters and tables move through the greenhouse automatically, our people no longer actually have to lift anything other than plants and lettuce. So, we can operate it with very little manual work.’

Favorable for the environment

Advantages of the gutter system include a very easy work posture for employees, strong performance and environmental benefits. Fritz Meier tells: ‘We use about half of our water and much less pesticides and fertilizers. And nothing goes in the environment that doesn’t belong there. That is very important to us as a company.’

Codema is a company we like to coorporate with

The Gebrüder Meier has been working with Codema for quite a few years. Fritz Meier explains: ‘When we decided to install a gutter system, we asked Codema for help. We looked at the possibilities together with them so they could build a system for us on this basis.

Together with Codema we visited different companies in the Netherlands and Belgium and we have seen what Codema is capable to design, such as sophisticated transport systems for flowers. As a company, we are always happy with customers who are satisfied and who continue to work with us, and that’s how we want to deal with suppliers: we also consider a supplier who does a good job for a next project.’

Posted on 31 October 2018 | 7:00 am

In 2019, the Horticulture & Product Physiology group, together with Wageningen Plant Research, again will organize a course on lighting in greenhouses and vertical farms.
In this course WageningenUR scientists share their unique knowledge with international students, researchers, and horticultural and light experts.

The course is held in Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Registration for the course in February 2019 is now possible.

The course consists of a mixture of interactive classroom lectures, group discussions, demonstrations, and an excursion day.

The lectures will be given by a team of experts of Wageningen University & Research. Lecturers include Prof. Leo Marcelis, Dr. Cecilia Stanghellini, Dr. Ep Heuvelink, Dr. Anja Dieleman, and Prof. Ernst Woltering.
This excellent and intensive course is meant for professionals in lighting, greenhouse production and vertical farms as well as MSc and PhD students, post-docs and junior scientists from all over the world.

Posted on 30 October 2018 | 9:04 pm

University researchers are seeking input from potted and fresh cut culinary herb growers in order to initiate a national research and extension project aimed to address the needs of the emerging industry. Your anonymous input for our survey will help to steer the focus of this project.

Currently, researchers from Michigan State University, Purdue University, Iowa State University, Clemson University, Kansas State University and the USDA-ARS are writing a USDA Specialty Crop Research Initiative grant proposal to fund this project that will focus on marketing, economic barriers, food safety, plant protection, production, and post-harvest issues related to culinary herbs.

If you grow potted or fresh cut culinary herbs or are interested in growing and are willing to participate in this short survey, please click on the following link:

The survey will close on November 9, 2018, so please provide your input today!

Posted on 25 October 2018 | 7:50 am

Originally published by Edenworks, Johnny Bowman

Three trends define the history of packaged salad in the United States: convenience, shelf life, and safety. As enthusiastic packaged salad historians, we thought we’d share our cliff notes on how these trends have changed over time, and offer a glimpse of how these trends play in the future.

The 1950 and 1960s: Refrigerated supply chain and convenience.

  • Coming out of World War II, Americans ditched their backyard vegetable gardens (“Victory Gardens”) and embraced store-bought goods in a big way. TV dinners, developed during the war to feed air crews, grew in popularity as the ultimate form of convenience.
  • The Eisenhower interstate highway system — mandated for national defense to quickly move equipment, supplies, and troops around the country — had a very positive impact on perishable products. Transit times from West Coast to East Coast were cut in half, allowing produce producing regions like California to supply the East Coast, and grocery stores were able to offer perishables year-round.
  • In store refrigeration rapidly expanded across the United States, making perishables a staple of grocery stores. The supply chain for refrigerated product, known as the “cold chain”, became a critical feature of every major grocery store chain.

1970s: Convenience continues, and freshens up.

  • Coming into the 1970s, consumers were looking for fresher alternatives to home meal replacement solutions. Demand for “ready to eat” foods grew significantly, and the rotisserie in-store cooked chicken was developed by many chains (exactly who was the first is a hotly debated subject). Other hot and fresh foods, like “heat and eat” meatloaf and ribs, follow.

Late 1980s / early 1990s: The birth of value added produce.

  • In 1989, Del Monte was the first produce company to develop value added fresh produce. They cut lower value pineapples from Hawaii into chunks and spears, put them in 5oz and 10oz bags, and shipped them via airfreight to retailers around the US. Despite the airfreight, perishability remained a major issue, with Del Monte experiencing ~35% shrink (waste) in cut pineapples.
  • In response, improving refrigeration during travel became a major focus for Del Monte and the industry. Training on cold chain integrity was extended from personnel in the field, to the production plant, to airline ramps, to retailer distribution centers.
  • California lettuce producers saw the growth of the bagged pineapple program and began working on bagged salads. The Taylor and Church families formed Fresh Express as the first major bagged salad company in Salinas, CA. Initially, bagged salads were dominated by head lettuce, chopped into bite-sized pieces. Today, due to the growth of the packaged salad industry, loose leaf and baby green varietals have displaced much of the head lettuce market due to superior flavor, variety, and shelf life (fewer cut edges to oxidize).
*Domestic availability = domestic production + imports — exports. Data from USDA.
  • Both Taylor and Church jointly participated in the development of “oxygen transfer rate” (OTR) bags, which incorporate microperforations, allowing gas exchange and increasing freshness and shelf life. Similarly, Transfresh, a distributor, alongside retailer HEB, pioneered a concept known as “nitrogen flushing,” where nitrogen is added into airtight containers to slow aging. Both approaches added up to 5 days of shelf life to the product and were quickly adopted by all major grocery chains.

Late 1990s, 2000s: Convenience gets personal, and organic explodes.

  • In the late 1990s, salad producer Ready Pac — a smaller brand with a presence largely limited to the western US — staked out personal salads as a way to gain market share against major incumbents Fresh Express and Dole. Ready Pac came up with the Bistro Bowl — self-contained individual salad including greens, cut vegetables, condiments, protein, dressing, and a spork. It is still today the best selling salad kit in the US.
  • Meanwhile, Earthbound Farm, an exclusively organic farm in Carmel, CA, grew in popularity. While small compared to Dole, Fresh Express, and Del Monte, they were at the beginning stages of the organic revolution — truly one of the biggest changes in perishables production in the last 40 years. Organic food growth sustained 10%+ annual growth from the early 1990s up until the financial crisis of 2007/2008. Today, 23% of salad is organic — the largest organic penetration of any produce group.
Source: Statista

The present and future. Despite advances in refrigeration over the last 50 years, we think the cold chain has a lot more room for improvement. But what does that look like? Simply put, same cold, less chain.

According to surveys done by the Food Marketing Institute, the only thing grocery shoppers want more than organic is local. Beyond just wanting to serve consumer demand, retailers want more local produce too — it’s fresher, so has longer shelf life, allowing for less shrink. 95% of US greens come from California and Arizona, so shipping product 30 miles as opposed to 3,000 miles will add 5 days of shelf life. Another knock on the traditional supply chain is that product is grown outdoors and changes hands several times before the customer gets it. For every 1 hour salad is not in a tightly controlled refrigerated unit, it loses a day of shelf life. The time from harvest in the field to getting product into a refrigerated unit indoors is about 4 hours.

Prediction 1: The rise of indoor farms. Indoor farms, by contrast, can produce next to retailers’ distribution centers and harvest product inside a refrigerator (albeit a room-sized one). The first time product grown in an indoor farm exits refrigeration is the shopping cart. All in all, product grown in an indoor farm can last 10 days longer than the same product grown in the field.

Prediction 2: New indoor-enabled products. Indoor farms don’t just enable better products, they enable different products. Microgreens (even smaller leaves than baby greens) are the first new product we’re seeing emerging from indoor farms and joining the packaged salad category. Because microgreens are so small, just a few days old when they’re harvested, they must be grown and harvested indoors. But even more exciting products are bound to emerge. Indoor farms, because they can control the climate, allow for products that need different growing conditions. Until now, all we’ve seen are products that grow well in the hot, dry climate of California and Arizona. Going forward, we’ll see indoor farms introducing crops from a variety of regions and that require vastly different climates.

Originally published by Edenworks, Johnny Bowman

Posted on 23 October 2018 | 8:51 am

For players from the lettuce production chain, the annual Lettuce Demo Days is the place to be. In recent weeks, growers, processors, traders, retailers, and food suppliers have come to ’s Gravenzande from far and wide to get to know more about the most promising new lettuce varieties and developments. Vegetable breeding company BASFpresented its full commercial range of lettuce for the European market, including a number of promising newcomers.

BASF showed new varieties for both open-field and hydroponic cultivation.

Iceberg Lettuce Highlights
“In order to accommodate local temperature differences and different soil types, we always strive for considerable diversity in our offer,” explains Stefan Hermans, Account Manager Lettuce at BASF Vegetable Seeds. “However, we are always guided by our search for lettuce varieties with a stable round head, for thick-leaf varieties with a good balance between heart and leaves. These can be harvested earlier and are better protected against adverse weather conditions.

Two years ago, BASF introduced the promising iceberg variety Liberkin, which meets all these criteria. Not only does Liberkin have the desired stable round shape, which makes it very suitable for machine packaging, but last summer this variety proved stable even when subjected to prolonged extreme heat. “This allows us to say with complete conviction that the Liberkin is suitable for the entire summer season, in medium to heavy soil types.”

New in the range are the NUN 0224 LTL* and NUN 0227 LTL*. “NUN 0224 LTL* is very suitable for light to loamy soils and will be tested on a large scale throughout the summer period in 2019. Thanks to its compact round shape, this variety is ideal for packaging in 10-packs. NUN 0227 LTL* is a quick-filling medium to large type, suitable for the heavier soil types. Both varieties are characterized by their flat-round, closed base and thick leaves. They are suitable for both the fresh market and industry and are strong against bolting, inner tipburn and red veins.”

A new variety that will be available on a limited basis in 2019 is the NUN 0253 LTL*. “This variety, which also has a compact round shape, is particularly suitable for light sandy soils. Like the NUN 0224 LTL* and NUN 0227 LTL*, this variety is rapid filling and resistant to tipburn and bolting.”

New Variety of Butterhead Lettuce

In 2019, BASF will launch a new butterhead lettuce: NUN 04095 LTL*. “NUN 04095 LTL* is suitable for planting in both the spring and fall. With its beautiful head formation, flat base, and structure, this butterhead lettuce is ideal for two-layer packaging. The additional leaf layers provide better protection in situations with a high disease burden at the base of the plant,” says Stefan Hermans.

Hydroponic Lettuce

In addition to the open-field range, BASF presented various new products in the hydroponic lettuce range. “During the Lettuce Demo Days, we showed a full range of lettuce – including babyleaf and spinach – of all types on the two main cultivation systems in the market, the NFT and deep-flow growing beds with LED lighting,” says Peter Does, Account Manager Hydroponic Lettuce. New in the range are three new summer butterhead lettuce varieties for hydroponic cultivation: the smaller NOACH* for the compact lettuce market, the large NUN 02647 LTL* for the heavy lettuce market and, as an intermediate type, the NUN 02649 LTL*. “This past summer, all three varieties have proven to be resistant to bolting and tipburn. They withstood the hot, dry summer without problems. On top of that, the varieties are very suitable for growing under artificial lighting, including LED. This makes year-round cultivation possible,” says Peter Does. In addition to the three new butterhead varieties, BASF showed an extensive selection of new lettuce mixes for the Trio/multicolor lettuce range. “In addition to the compact standard mix (Multiblond 3, Multired 4, and Multired 80), we showed a faster, heavier winter mix (Multiblond 110, NUN 09144* LTL, and NUN 09145 LTL*), with retention of good color and balance between the three varieties in the pot. We also presented our Scandinavian mix with crisp lettuce, for that extra bite: Multiblond 110, Multired 80, and Danstar.”

New Cultivation and Harvesting Techniques

During the Lettuce Demo Days, BASF not only wants to provide information but receive it as well. That way they can keep on top of developments in the market. A major challenge facing the lettuce production chain in the coming years is the reduction of labor costs. This is why BASF is currently investigating various cultivation techniques to determine whether they may offer a solution without compromising the quality of the lettuce. The focus is on the extent to which horticulture can replace open-field cultivation and the impact this would have on mechanization and labor. Another project focuses on the harvesting and processing of iceberg lettuce and romaine lettuce. This involves high-density direct sowing and/or planting of varieties with a texture and structure similar to those of iceberg and romaine lettuce. The tops of the plants are then mowed off and processed directly in the processing plant. During the Lettuce Demo Days, BASF introduced the concept to its target groups to gauge responses. BASF will use the new insights it gained to further develop innovative solutions for the lettuce production chain.

About BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division

With a rapidly growing population, the world is increasingly dependent on our ability to develop and maintain sustainable agriculture and healthy environments. Working with farmers, agricultural professionals, pest management experts and others, it is our role to help make this possible. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D pipeline and broad portfolio, including seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection, soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. With expert teams in the lab, field, office and in production, we connect innovative thinking and down-to-earth action to create real world ideas that work – for farmers, society and the planet. In 2017, our division generated sales of €5.7 billion. For more information, please visit or any of our social media channels.


About BASF

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The more than 115,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of €64.5 billion in 2017. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at

Posted on 22 October 2018 | 8:18 am

This month’s ‘Indoor Ag Science Café’ featured Robert Colangelo, Founder of Green Sense Farms, as a speaker. In his presentation ‘Growing the Vertical Farming Industry – How Industry and Academia can Work Together’, Colangelo discussed the current status of indoor farming industries, gaps and cultural differences between businesses and academia, as well as possible strategies to work together on R&D for common critical technologies. Indoor Ag Science Café is a monthly online forum organized by three scientists (Chieri Kubota, Ohio State U; Erik Runkle, Michigan State U; and Cary Mitchell, Purdue U).

Please contact to join the café.

Posted on 19 October 2018 | 8:46 am

Our last Greenhouse Training Online course for 2018!
Interpret water quality tests for irrigation of greenhouse and nursery crops, select appropriate water treatment technologies, and design a water treatment and monitoring system. Irrigation Water & Treatment is the final course for 2018 in the Greenhouse Training Online series offered by the University of Florida IFAS Extension, winner of the 2018 American Society for Horticultural Science Extension Division Education Materials Award.

This is taught at an advanced level, designed for an experienced grower or technical manager. Lessons are offered in English and Spanish, and are taught by professors from six universities in the United States.

The course runs from November 5 to December 7, 2018. It costs $US 199 per participant, and includes a personalized certificate of completion. Over 4 weeks (no classes over Thanksgiving week), there are streaming video lessons, readings and assignments. The 3 to 4 hours of lessons and activities each week can be accessed at any time of day. Bilingual PhD instructors are available via discussion features. Click here to register (

For more information, go to, or contact Greenhouse Training, Environmental Horticulture Dept., University of Florida, USA, by emailing

This course is supported by the Specialty Crop Research Initiative project ‘‘Clean WateR3 – Reduce, Remediate, Recycle’’, #2014-51181-22372, from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Spanish translation is supported by a grant from the American Floral Endowment.

Irrigation Water Quality PDF Flyer

Posted on 10 October 2018 | 6:30 am

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